With the current world-wide pandemic happening, I thought it was a great chance to get personal with some of our much loved small and local business owners.

Welcome to Behind The Scenes – a series | Episode One

Kicking off our first episode is Co-Founder of a Northern New South Whales based wellness brand – Ibu Ayurveda. This luxury self-care is a range of beautiful products, naturopathically formulated to target constitutional rejuvenation and support.

“I B U A Y U R V E D A is ayurveda for the creative motherhood force within us all.​ Ibu (/i b u/) is the indonesian/ malay word for mother.​ ayurveda is the ancient indian healing tradition, referred to as the science of life. Our mission is to elevate self care routines and ultimately enhance your internal and external well being. We offer multi-dimensional support in the form of conscious beauty and wellness products.”

Now we know what the brand itself is, it’s time to know one of the wonderful human beings behind it… We caught up (virtually) with Justene and asked her some questions.

When did you have that “light bulb” moment that was your business/brand idea?

During preconception, pregnancy, birth preparation, and postpartum with my first born I was fortunate enough to be supported by a leading ayurvedic practitioner who encouraged daily body oiling, herbal tonics, body treatments and belly binding. The outcome of this critical window of change for me was that I felt better than ever before.

I spent my adult life studying naturopathy, yoga, and nutrition and had also worked in the cosmetics industry for years, and yet I had never been exposed to the extreme importance of supporting women in this window. This vulnerable time of life can have profound ripple effects on an entire family unit that will either be positive or negative depending on the experiences.

Truly holistic support for conception, pregnancy, postpartum and women’s health includes topical treatments such as oils, massage and belly-binding, internal support with tonics and nourishing foods, and emotional support via herbs, vibrational medicine and encouraging rest and healing as opposed to the popular Western mentality of ‘bouncing back’. I realised I wanted to be able to offer this to all women, even if meant creating self-care packages.

What was your next step once you realised you wanted to start this business/brand?

I researched what was available on the market and saw a noticeable gap. Keisha, my business partner, was having some similar realisations about holistic support for motherhood after the birth of her first son and feeling drawn to bring a range of products into fruition. We realised we could compliment and support each other in this venture, just as we had in our uni days. As mothers, we have a mutual understanding of the importance of creating a business model that allows us to consciously deliver high quality products and service, and still be present in our children’s lives in a way that is soul enriching. Focusing on creating unique and multidimensional products for the womanhood journey, that can be consciously woven into daily self-care routines, became our mission. Alongside always following therapeutic dosages, ensuring purity of products, and expressing our love for the planet (and pastels!) with an eco-luxe style.

What does the average day look like for you?

I have a 6 year old, a 3 year old, and a 5 month baby so my mornings are an explosion of needs to be honest! But I try to get up early and practice my own self-care routines first so I can give from a full cup. Breath awareness, yoga and movement, cleansing and body oiling are things I can’t really function without.

I have to juggle business between mothering; it can get quite hard at times and I have to utilise any spare energy or creative surge I get. Some days I will take my ‘work’ to the park with my youngest in the baby carrier, and I will weave in my emails, social media planning, and inventory support via my phone. No two days are ever the same, I am either writing content, formulating, corresponding with customers or dreaming up new products.

Has that changed in the past week?

Not really to be honest, I have seen these memes where they say: I just found out my normal lifestyle is now called quarantine. I literally laughed out loud because as a mother of young children who works from home, I have virtually seen no difference haha!

How do you pump yourself up for a big day of work?

Self-care routines are critical for me – if I haven’t rested enough or am feeling heavy it’s hard to be clear. I must have moved my body, showered, oiled and misted myself – followed by a large hot cacao with ashwaghanda – it’s like the Indian equivalent of ginseng, a powerful adaptogen. In winter I drink very spicy chai!

What is your favourite motivational quote?

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Emerson

What book are you reading right now?

I always have about 7 books on the go to be honest. 99% of the time they are science/health books sorry to bore you! But my ayurvedic bible is an incredible book called Prakruti – I did just read the postnatal depletion cure which is a recent release and a wonderful contribution to women’s health.

What are currently your top three favourite songs?

Oh my goodness my head is so full of children’s songs that by the end of the day I just love listening to silence, yoga music or going down the rabbit hole with YouTube and finding new inspiring artists like Tash Sultana.

What form does your procrastination generally take?

As a tired mother it mostly comes in the form of falling asleep with the kids and not actually working in the night as I planned. Or having a swim with them or playing instead of working on the laptop.

What are some creative ways you have stayed connected and proactive during this wacky time?

As I said before – our business has always been a work from home business so to be honest we are 100% used to zoom, facetime, whatsapp chats and emails galore!

What’s next for you and your business?

We have several new products lined up and some plans to expand the event side of our business including retreats. It’s an interesting time to be in business right now though, we are just watching and responding to our customer’s needs and pausing what doesn’t fit for now.